New Hanover County joins 83 other North Carolina counties marked red, with the most severe levels of Covid-19 spread. Officials are calling for residents to stay home except for necessities and emergencies.
Over the last two weeks, the number of ‘red’ counties has increased from 65 to 84, with 96 counties now red or orange. Governor Roy Cooper is calling the situation ‘precarious’ and ‘dangerous.’
“Today I am extending for three weeks the modified stay-at-home order that requires people to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen addressed the latest data, showing the highest rates of infection since the beginning of the pandemic, with nearly every metric receiving a ‘red X,’ except hospitalizations, which are still increasing.
“These are already astonishingly high numbers, and we’ve even seen the impact fully of the holidays yet.”
Cohen issued a ‘secretarial directive,’ telling residents that they should stay home except for essential activities: work, child and healthcare, and other necessary trips. Cohen told residents not to gather with people they don’t live with.
For those that have, Cohen said assume you have Covid-19, and act accordingly to protect the health of others.
Asked about the choice of a directive over an executive order from the governor, Cohen said:
“We knew this wasn’t about police showing up at someone’s home, but really about being excessively clear about what I and my colleagues at the department think it takes to protect everyone at this time.”
Responding to a media question, Cooper noted that there was no state-wide mandate for school reopening in the works, saying he had not heard such a request from superintendents.
For WHQR, I’m Ben Schachtman.